If you’re an avid Facebook Marketplace user, you’re probably aware of the convenience and great deals it offers.
However, with the rise in popularity of the platform, there has also been an increase in Facebook Marketplace scams.
Scammers are always looking for ways to exploit unsuspecting buyers and sellers, and Facebook Marketplace is no exception.
- Facebook Marketplace is a popular platform for buying and selling goods, but it’s also a target for scammers.
- Scammers on Facebook Marketplace can be fake sellers, fake buyers, or identity thieves.
- To protect yourself from Facebook Marketplace scams, be aware of the most common scams, use caution when making transactions, and report any suspicious activity.
18 Most Common Facebook Marketplace Scams
If you’re looking to buy or sell on Facebook Marketplace, it’s important to be aware of the most common scams that can target both buyers and sellers.
Here are the 18 most common Facebook Marketplace scams to watch out for:
Scams Targeting Buyers
- Fake giveaways: Scammers may offer fake giveaways, such as a new Macbook or gift cards, in exchange for personal information or to install malware on your device. Be cautious of anything that directs you outside of the Facebook platform.
- Bait-and-switch items: Fraudsters will advertise a product at a great price, but when you inquire about it, it’s suddenly “unavailable” and a higher-priced product is offered as a replacement. Non-delivery scams are similar, where a seller lists an item they have no intention of shipping to buyers. To avoid these scams, ask to pay for the item in person in a convenient public place if the listing is local. If the item needs to be shipped, avoid using non-conventional payment methods and pay within Facebook Marketplace.
- Asking to be paid in gift cards: Scammers may request payment in gift cards because they are difficult to trace. Never engage with listings that demand this type of payment.
- Counterfeit items: Some sellers may sell counterfeit items at a cheap price. Always do some research on the item to find any signs of authenticity and verify the seller’s profile for reviews that might warn you about fraudulent activity.
- Faulty products: Fraudulent vendors may knowingly sell malfunctioning products and disappear after receiving payment. Fraudulent buyers may claim that the item they received is faulty and request a refund, but instead of returning the item, they hold onto it and insist that the product is in the mail.
- Rental scams: Fake listings for apartments, properties, boats, or power tools may ask for upfront payments or deposits. In the case of living spaces, some of these listings ask customers to fill out fake lease agreements or applications with the hope of attaining valuable personal information like social security numbers. Stick with rental companies with a good reputation and a proven track record of good service.
- Car deposit/advance payment scams: Scammers use high-demand items like vehicles to persuade buyers to submit advance payments or deposits to reserve the item. Most of these scams request payment methods that are untraceable such as cash advance payments and gift cards to try to close the deal outside of Facebook Marketplace and eliminate any connection to the seller.
Scams Targeting Sellers
- Lost package claims: Buyers may claim they never received the item and request a refund. Paying to have the package tracked and signed for upon receipt may be a little more expensive, but it’ll keep you from losing out on the entire sale.
- Overpayment scams: It’s rare that an honest buyer will accidentally overpay a seller. If someone tries to overpay you, decline the payment and ask them to submit the correct amount.
- Using stolen credit cards to pay: Buyers that use stolen credit cards may appear pushy and even offer more than an item’s asking price just to complete the transaction. These criminals insist on closing the deal outside of Facebook’s checkout using payment apps like Venmo and Cash App or wire transfers knowing that these transactions are unprotected by Facebook.
- Receiving a prepaid shipping label: If a buyer tries to supply you with a prepaid shipping label, they are almost certainly trying to scam you. Never accept prepaid shipping labels from buyers and always get a tracking number for the shipment.
Scams Targeting Both
- Identity theft: Scammers may create fake listings or profiles to steal personal information from buyers or sellers. Always verify the seller’s profile for reviews that might warn you about fraudulent activity.
- Phishing scams: Scammers may send messages that appear to be from Facebook or other legitimate sources to trick you into giving away your personal information. Be cautious of anything that directs you outside of the Facebook platform.
- Fake payment emails: Scammers may send fake payment confirmation emails to trick you into shipping the item before receiving payment. Always check your payment account to confirm that the payment has been made before shipping the item.
- Account takeover: Scammers may take over a legitimate seller’s account and use it to scam buyers. Always verify the seller’s profile for reviews that might warn you about fraudulent activity.
- Social engineering: Scammers may use social engineering tactics to trick you into giving away your personal information or payment details. Always be cautious of unsolicited messages and requests for personal information.
- Malware: Scammers may use malware to gain access to your device and steal your personal information. Using antivirus software with anti-phishing protection adds another layer of protection against these scams.
- Fake Facebook Marketplace sites: Scammers may create fake Facebook Marketplace sites to trick you into giving away your personal information or payment details. Always verify that you are on
Is Facebook Marketplace Safe?
How Do You Know if Someone Is Scamming You on Facebook Marketplace?
Facebook Marketplace can be a great place to find deals on goods or services, but it’s important to approach all transactions with skepticism.
Scammers are present on the platform, and it’s important to know how to identify them so you can protect yourself from becoming a victim.
Here are some warning signs to watch out for:
- New profile: Be cautious of brand-new profiles with few or no profile pictures, as these are often used as dummy accounts to scam people.
- Deals that are too good to be true: Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true and buyers or sellers who pressure you to act quickly on a transaction.
- Asking for personal info: Beware of people who ask for personal information such as your phone number, and never click any links sent to you, as these can contain malware.
- Fake listing images: Scrutinize listing images as scammers will use stock photos or images they took off the internet to list an item that either doesn’t exist or is in poor condition.
- Overpayment or odd payment methods: Strict requests for strange payment methods — such as by gift card — and buyers who insist on overpaying or do so “accidentally” are red flags.
If you notice any of these signs or anything else that seems suspicious, it’s best to move on and avoid the transaction.
To stay safe on Facebook Marketplace, it’s important to read through the responsibility guide and the purchase protections or seller protections pages.
These resources will give you a solid foundation and help you spot new scams.
Additionally, Facebook has implemented verified badges on profiles to help battle fraud.
How to Avoid Facebook Marketplace Scams
When using Facebook Marketplace, it’s important to keep yourself safe from scams.
Here are some tips to help you avoid getting scammed:
- Review your bank and credit card statements regularly to make sure there are no unauthorized charges.
- If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of prices that are significantly lower than market value.
- Check the seller’s badges and reviews to ensure they are legitimate.
- Communicate strictly on Facebook Messenger to keep all conversations in one place.
- Enable two-factor authentication for your Facebook account to add an extra layer of security.
- Use trusted payment methods that protect you, such as cash, PayPal, or Facebook Checkout.
- Double-check the other person’s identity before making a transaction.
- Always meet in a populated, well-lit space.
- Bring everything you need to make sure you’re getting a working product, such as batteries or chargers.
By following these tips, you can minimize the risk of getting scammed on Facebook Marketplace.
What to Do if You’re Scammed on Facebook Marketplace
If you fall victim to a scam on Facebook Marketplace, don’t worry, there are steps you can take to mitigate the damage.
Here are some tips on what to do if you’re scammed on Facebook Marketplace.
How to Report a Buyer Scam
If you’re scammed by a buyer on Facebook Marketplace, you can report the scam by following these steps:
- Open the item listing on your screen.
- Next to the buyer’s name, click “see more.”
- Click the ellipsis (the three dots).
- Click “report buyer.”
- Click “scam,” then follow the on-screen instructions to file the report.
How to Report a Seller Scam
If you’re scammed by a seller on Facebook Marketplace, you can report the scam by following these steps:
- Go to the listing you think is fraudulent.
- Click the name of the seller.
- Click the ellipsis (the three dots).
- Click “report seller.”
- Click “scam,” then follow the on-screen instructions to file the report.
After You File a Report
After you report the scammer to Facebook Marketplace, it’s a good time to take action to further protect your personal data and bank accounts.
Here are some steps you can take:
- Review your credit reports: You can check your credit reports for free at least once a year. Look for any unfamiliar information that could be a sign of identity theft.
- Double-check your bank statements: Make sure scammers didn’t use your credit or debit card to make fraudulent charges. If you do see a suspicious transaction, contact your bank.
- Sign up for identity theft protection: Even if scammers don’t act right away, that doesn’t mean your info wasn’t compromised. An ID theft protection service helps you monitor your identity, credit reports, and bank accounts over the long term so you can quickly spot any issues and take immediate action. Some services even monitor your social media accounts as well — a perfect choice if you’re worried your Facebook account was hacked.
It’s important to stay vigilant and take action to protect your personal information and financial accounts if you’re scammed on Facebook Marketplace.
When it comes to buying and selling on Facebook Marketplace, it’s important to take precautions to protect yourself from scams.
The following tips can help you stay safe:
- Communicate only through Messenger to keep within the guidelines of the community.
- Only accept or pay with cash, PayPal, or Facebook Checkout to protect yourself.
- Check the length and validity of a seller or buyer’s account before making a transaction.
- Keep your Facebook privacy settings locked down tight to prevent scammers from accessing your personal information.
- Install the best antivirus software to protect your device from malware and other online threats.
- Consider signing up for an identity theft protection service if you’re worried your data was stolen.
By following these guidelines and staying vigilant, you can use Facebook Marketplace with confidence and enjoy the convenience of the resale platform without worrying about being scammed.
Remember, taking a few extra steps to protect yourself is well worth it in the end.